UK Vaping Industry Association hails Khan Review as “huge step forward for tobacco harm reduction”

  •  Vaping cited as one of four “critical” policy areas to get smoke free 2030 ambitions back on track
  • UKVIA gave evidence to the review’s author, Javed Khan OBE

The UK Vaping Industry Association has hailed the publication of an independent review into tobacco control which describes promotion of vaping as one of four “critical” policy pillars to ensure England achieves its “smoke free 2030” target.

As part of its “levelling up” agenda the Government tasked former Barnardo’s CEO Javed Khan OBE with carrying out a root and branch review of current Tobacco Control policies to support its ideal of making smoking “obsolete”.

Today the Independent Review into Tobacco Control, otherwise known as the Khan Review, has been published and the UKVIA welcomes vaping’s recognition not just for the crucial role it currently plays in helping smokers to quit, but for the huge potential it has for tobacco harm reduction in years to come.

In his review Mr Khan warns that without further action England will miss those smoke free targets by at least seven years and that the Government must implement four “critical recommendations” including promotion of vaping.

He said: “The Government must embrace the promotion of vaping as an effective tool to help people quit smoking tobacco. We know that vaping is an extremely effective quit tool. We need to do more to promote its use in quitting, while also doing more to protect children and young people from starting to vape.”

As an association, the UKVIA provided evidence for the review including a comprehensive set of proposals setting out how vaping can:

  • Be the number one tool to help people quit smoking for good
  • Be one of the central planks for the levelling up agenda
  • Get the ambitious smoke free 2030 aspirations back on track.

John Dunne, Director General of the UKVIA, said: “As an association we couldn’t agree more with this report’s stark message for the Government which is that, without immediate action, it will miss its smoke free targets by seven years.

“The NHS tells us that around 78,000 people in the UK die every year from smoking, with many more living with debilitating smoking-related illnesses, so the time for inaction is over.

“Mr Khan unambiguously states that one of the critical ways the Government can get its ambitions for a smoke free society back on track is through greater promotion of vaping and the UKVIA, which represents vaping organisations including retailers, manufacturers and distributors, will do everything we can to support this.”

The UKVIA has long advocated for many of the conclusions cited in the Khan Review including:

  • Offering vaping as a substitute for smoking, alongside accurate information on the benefits of switching, including to healthcare professionals – the UKVIA has already set up an online healthcare hub for this purpose
  • The “need to invest in a well-designed mass media campaign to help create a smokefree culture, while encouraging smokers to quit” and “to support and dismantle myths about smoking and vaping”
  • Ask the government to accelerate the path to prescribed vapes
  • To prevent children and young people from vaping, including banning child friendly packaging and descriptions – the UKVIA has produced packaging, labelling and flavour name guidelines for the government to adapt into existing regulations

“One of the things we hear again and again is that people who switch from smoking to vaping are just swapping one bad habit for another, which simply isn’t true,” continued John Dunne. “So any plans for mass media campaigning to dismantle myths about smoking and vaping are hugely welcome, and something we have long called for.

“The fact that Mr Khan’s review recommends that vaping promotion should be one of the critical policies to eradicate smoking is a truly great day for vaping advocates and marks another huge step forward for the tobacco harm reduction movement.”

He continued: “We have to remember this is only a review. Our hope now is that these proposals and recommendations are carried forward and manifested in the Government’s Tobacco Control Plan (TCP).

“So, while in some respects it is disappointing that Javed Khan hasn’t taken forward the full set of measured, evidence-based proposals put forward by the UKVIA in our “Blueprint for Better Regulation” document, there is still positivity that in addition to forthcoming TCP, our recommendations can also inform and influence the Health Disparities White Paper and independent review into tobacco control policies.

“The UKVIA will, of course, work tirelessly to ensure our voice is heard in all the right places so that we can develop those opportunities to bring about the real change required to maximises the potential of vaping, whilst simultaneously discouraging youth uptake.”

He added: “Today’s review, with its acknowledgement of vaping’s value towards smoking harm reduction, goes at least some way to paving the road for us to move on from the frankly dangerous misinformation that has stopped vaping from realising its full public health potential in the past, and we will continue our campaigning to make this happen and support the Government’s smoke-free agenda.”

Ends.

 

 

 

 

 

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